Crape Myrtles: Buyer Beware

Ann_L(Z5-Ohio)June 6, 2002

For anyone remotely considering placing an order with or

David Chopin in Gainesville, Florida: Please contact the Better Business

Bureau of Central Florida first. They have a thick file on this company

already, and NONE of the information is positive. If you've already sent in

your check and have received either dead sticks or nothing at all, contact the

Federal Trade Commission's Consumer Complaint Division. Here are the

addresses, phone numbers, and websites:

Better Business Bureau

Of Central Florida

151 S. Wymore Road, Suite 100

Altamonte Springs, FL 32714

PHONE: 407-621-3300

FAX: 407-786-2625

Federal Trade Commission


Consumer Complaints-FTC$.startup?Z_ORG_CODE=PU01

The information you provide the FTC will enable them to prosecute fraudulent

companies such as this one.

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JMLehrer(z7 LI NY)

Do Crepe Myrtle survive in your climate, anyway?

    Bookmark   June 7, 2002 at 1:21AM
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The crape myrtles advertised on this website were supposedly hybridized for zones 4-7. I originally ordered them when Chopin's operation was located in Pennsylvania. None of them survived because they all arrived DOA.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2002 at 10:20PM
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JMLehrer(z7 LI NY)

They wouldn't have survived your z5 winters anyway -- the new USDA types are at best hardy in z6.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2002 at 10:58PM
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On the question of hardiness, I suspect there is more to it than just the zone you're in. I purchased a 'Dallas Red ' ( the flowers were medium pink, so I think it may have been mis-labled ), which is supposed to be one of the more hardy types, but it was killed to the ground with a winter minimum temp of 9F. Maybe it needs to be covered for a winter or two. An area that needs work, for sure.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2002 at 1:54AM
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Eucalyptusman(Zone 8 Oregon)

Crape Myrtles As a grower I have been growing outside for more than 15 years here in USDA zone 6a. Depending on the type some are top hardy to near -10F or -23C otherwise they will come back from the ground even from -24F. The tallest ones I know of are in Spring grove area near Cincinnati zone 6a that are still multi-stemmed totally exposed with peeling bark and that are almost 18ft tall! They have over 50 plants in the ground there will no problems at all. About chopin plants I heard bad news all the way small plants or dead plants arriving without ever getting a refund back. For hardiness of there plants I doubt zone 4... but I seen perfect root hardiness to zone 5b.. remember they flower on new wood. For trying in cold climates there are a # of different types to choose from. The supersonic types are perfectly root hardy to zone 5 surviving -24F, Sarah's favorite is petty hardy. Velma Royal Delight is another good one. Townhouse is good. Even the more tender types such as Twilight still flower here and are top hardy to about 5F. Dallas red is suppose to be a cold hardier type but has not proved cold hardy at all... but it will act as a perennial flowering shrub to zone 6..

    Bookmark   June 23, 2002 at 2:05AM
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So sorry about your problem with your Crepe Myrtles. Arent they going to replace them? Thanks for the info...I just wanted to tell you to scout around and ask for cuttings of the ones you like. They are easy to root...Spring time is the best time to root them here.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2002 at 11:46PM
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psychomom(z6 PA)

I guess I got lucky! I ordered Chisam Fire's the year before last and they arrived in good condition. We have had some windy winters in SW PA, but it doesn't seem to bother them.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2002 at 1:55PM
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Whether the plants would survive in Ann's zone 5 climate is really irrelevant if the supplier is not delivering live plants! (Or is it O.K. to ship dead plants if you figure they won't live in zone 5 anyway?) It seems to take a lot of transgression before the BBBs take action so the situation with this supplier must be BAD. Thanks, Ann, for the warning.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2002 at 11:37AM
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Thanks for the warning because I was only a matter of minutes away from ordering from I am glad that I found this forum and warning in time. Thanks...
Does anyone know of a dependable, quality source for crape myrtle for zone 9. Thanks, again.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2003 at 2:21PM
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Just found these posts about I had written them last year about coming out to pick my own out, they said they were going to be open to the public this year...I emailed them a month or two ago about driving directions and they never answered my email.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2003 at 3:30PM
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learningcurve(z9 FL)

Argh!!!!! I wish I would have looked here before ordering 20 mini's back in April. They arrived as tiny little sticks and haven't shown any growth whatsoever (perhaps they were dead already???). All attempts to contact in Gainesville have gone unanswered. Their web site made all their crepe's look beautiful and I fell for it hook, line and sinker! Once again, ARGH!

    Bookmark   May 5, 2003 at 3:27PM
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metro(z6/SW IL)

I purchased 6 Dallas Reds and one Musgogee from, all arrived alive and well. However they charged me for shipping which was supposed to be included in the package deal. I phoned them without response.

I planted the Crepes in October of 2002, amended the soil and mulched to 4 inches. All of the Dallas Reds are alive and beginning to leave out. Nothing from the Musgogee as yet.

Now I was told that I could expect tree size Crepes even in my zone of 6a. What do you think?


    Bookmark   May 6, 2003 at 9:26AM
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Thanks for the info on Crape I was going to order 6-10 of the Pocomoke from - love this small CM shrub and I could not find any in my area (Maryland) last spring. Has anyone ordered from this company recently and received decent, live plants? Please let me know. Can anyone recommend a reliable source who sells Pocomokes?


    Bookmark   September 1, 2003 at 10:59AM
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ducky12(2/3 AK)

This is the best site I've found for finding reliable seed/plants sources.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2003 at 12:12AM
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Fiona25(z8 WA)

I agree with the advice from "ducky 12" about It's a GREAT site and a big help for all gardeners who order plants through mail order.

You may want to add your comments about this company on to save other gardeners some grief. It seems to be a very popular site, with users increasing daily.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2003 at 6:32PM
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plantman314(z5-6 StL, MO)

First off I live in Zone 5, and my crape myrtle flourish every year. They may dieback a little or even to the ground, but they always grow back to there prior size.

I usually rely on local nurseries for all of my hybridized varieties. Greenleaf Nursery, a wholesale grower that produces numerous hybrids and dwarfs, sells to thousands of garden centers nationwide.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2003 at 1:15AM
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I've got a 20 y/o on the north side of my property that's about 12' tall, hmm.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2003 at 3:45PM
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Crape Myrtles are very easy to grow from seed, (by the way the nursary start their Crape Myrtles from seed also) you can collect seed at the botanical garden in fall or go to the state, city parks and collect them seed. i got mine at the outside dentis office, spread seed starting medium on a tray and wet it good then spread the seed on top,then sprinkler a thin layer of medium on top. put the tray out side sunny area when temperature above 60F, they will start to geminate
in about a week or so. Crape Myrtles are fast growing so you will have a buch of plants in a season or two. only collect the seed in your area so you don't have any dout how cold is your plant can handle. happy gardening to every one.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2003 at 12:29PM
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Thanks for the warning. I have been thinking about buying some Crape Myrtles for screening purposes.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2004 at 11:45PM
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ellisgardener(zone7 NC)

I had a bad run-in with, too... but I got SOME satisfaction!.... I ordered fifty red Sacramentos, the miniatures.... got little sticks, but they were healthy and I have a greenhouse, so they got a good start.... they went into a nice well prepared bed and bloomed their little hearts out the first year!!! BUT... they weren't RED , they were pink and purple... I'd re-done my yard to reflect the RED minis so now I had a yard with reds all over and pink and purple crepes... ugh... I also got a few plants that were goners, so I emailed, sent pics and got no response.... then, when they bloomed, I did it again... still no response.... so I went to the BBBonline.... they got after the company and lo, a box arrives!!... fifty MORE miniatures!!!.. wow, I thought!!.... these were half dead, roots running out the bottom of the little pots, etc.... oh, well... if they are RED, we'll just change them out next season!!.... lucky that I had a greenhouse, too, cuz those rootbound babies couldnt have survived long with out one!!..... so now, I've got one hundred plant!!!.... and guess what... there's not a red in the lot!!... arrrgh!!... and yes, you'll see my comments on GardenWatchDog.... this company is one of the worst that I've ever done business with!!!.....I'd like to see them removed from the web!!!.. if you Google crepe myrtles, theirs is the first seven sites you see!!.... too easy to trap the unwary..... glad you guys are getting the word out on this bunch!!!.....

now... as for hardy, since I'm in zone 7, mine do fine...I had a bad die=back last winter, but even the dead twigs are regrowing from the roots.... this is a plant I'd not just give up on till it withered to dust!!!

so... I'll have seeds coming out my ears and if any of you want them, put your request on the seed swap here... I'll find you this fall!!!.... I have fifteen more of the regular crepes, too... trees, standards and dwarfs... in most colors......

so, to summarize.... DON'T BUY FROM THIS COMPANY unless you are willing to take a chance.... maybe for one plant, I'd do it again, but not for anything totalling more than twenty bucks, that's for sure!!!.... sheesh... $300 worth of the wrong plants and the same ammount's worth again and still wrong!!.... not good...

    Bookmark   May 28, 2004 at 12:38PM
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I'm the member who started this posting, and I've never received any compensation whatsoever from David Chopin's company ( If you have any seeds or plants to sell or trade, I'd definitely be interested. I don't care if they won't overwinter in my Zone 5 since I'd pot them and bring them inside. I'll post this message on the seed swap, too. Thanks!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2004 at 10:31PM
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I purchased 15 Mini Crape Myrtles (VIVA) from Home Depot for $1.97 apiece. They are fantastic! Growing and blooming beautifully. I wanted the mini's because they said they grow from 12 - 24 inches. That's about as big as I wanted them. (I'm using them for a border) It says on the label they are hardy to 25 degrees but maybe I can keep them alive this winter by deeply covering them in mulch. (Sometimes Memphis has mild winters ... sometimes it doesn't)* For $1.97 ea. I'll risk it and see what happens. I don't care if these are "The Orginal Mini's" or not as long as they are healthy,bloom and look beautiful. So far they are fantastic and blooming like crazy! I'm sorry you guys had a difficult time with the Crape Myrtle Company paying large prices for Mini Crepe Myrtles. Perhaps you are referring to Dwarfs which at Home Depot cost a little more? I'm not cheap. I'm a David Austin rose kind of girl but hey sometimes...>>> Home Depot. Think about it.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2005 at 9:59PM
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emma124(z6 NJ)

hi.. im so glad i read this.. i just received a notebook from i wont be ordering from them after reading this. I live in NJ zone 6.. i wanted to get a crape myrtle for the side of my housue. A tree about 15 feet tall maybe 20.. any suggestions? How would it look in the winter? im very very new at this.. would the crape mytle shrubs die during winter?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2005 at 7:35PM
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So glad I read these posts before I nearly ordered from!From now on, no more ordering sight-unseen until I check out their rep.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2005 at 11:27AM
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just add my name to the list of people hooked by

Bought 10 sticks from them.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2006 at 5:45PM
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I'm sorry that several people had problems with this company, which goes by several names: Mini Crape Mytles, Crape Myrtle Farms, Crape Myrtle Company, among others. I saw the posts about the company but decided to risk it and order my dwarf crape myrtles from them. Any where else I looked on the web, the crape mytles were from $17 to $39 apiece; from this company they were ony $6.25!
I crossed my fingers and called my order in. In three days I had all 20 crape myrtles, averaging two feet in height and all in excellent condition. They are now in the ground and doing fine.
I did notice that most all the negative posts about this company were prior to 2005. Since then the posts have been positive, for the most part. Perhaps the company has changed for the better??
Also--when I did a check with the NE Florida Better Business Bureau, under the name "Crape Myrtle Farms" I found only 1 complaint in the past year. I ordered from this "Crape Myrtle Farms" site, address Archer, FL. and saved a bundle.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2006 at 9:07AM
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lorenzo(z5 PA)

trying to locate company which sells above plant. Thank you,


    Bookmark   November 19, 2006 at 10:49AM
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I was about to buy 30 trees from this company and then read these post. I decided to call and talk with them since like the earlier person most of the post were from a while ago. I decided to order my 30 trees and when they arrived I would say they were in good shape. I ordered 5 different kind so some were bigger and healthier. I will say they all had a pretty good root system for the small containers they come in which is about the only thing I have to go on right now until spring. I would say from the root system they were healthy. Will post in spring 08 for update.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 2:22PM
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If you like red, have you ever noticed dwarf red buckeye tree? It's hardy in zones 4-9, according to this site. You might want to google for other pictures in case the color has been photoshopped.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dwarf buckeye

    Bookmark   December 17, 2007 at 2:14AM
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I ordered 3 crape myrtles from The Crape Myrtle Company and paid $84.00 with shipping. I never received them and got no response when I emailed the company.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 2:52PM
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